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New leadership at local Salvation Army

BY Scott Fleener - ctreport@indy.rr.com

The Salvation Army of Grant County will soon have a new Corps Officer.

Lt. Blake Fewell will be transferred to serve as a staff member of The Salvation Army's College for Officer Training in Chicago, Illinois at the end of June, according to a press release.

“I was surprised that I was going to be going to our training college which is kind of like our seminary,” Fewell said.

He said he would teach and be in charge of special events. 

“It's mixed emotions,” Fewell said, “because I do love Chicago — I've lived there for six years of my life — but I've really loved Marion and it's going to be hard to leave come the end of June.”

He said he has learned a lot while serving in Marion and he will take those lessons to his next assignment.

“You know I've seen a lot of change in the community since I've been here,” Fewell said. “I think of the things our community has been doing to revitalize our community. I think we have taken some amazing steps and that's involved the work of mainly other people but I've been happy to be part of partnerships with a lot of groups to really help to make sure our community is a little bit better.”

He said that he lived in large communities most of his life but he would miss “that close knit community that you get in a town like Marion.”

Fewell said his new position will be a lot different than what he is doing currently.

“It's going to be a lot less hands on, which I'm going to miss,” Fewell said. “but it's going to be preparing the next round of leaders that are going to be coming to locations like Marion and so I hope that I can take what I've learned here and the things that I've learned this community and share that next generation.”

He said he didn't expect the reassignment to come so soon, but the Salvation Army routinely reassigns its officers to new locations.

Lt. Jessica Smith will be filling Fewell's position. Smith has served as an officer for four years and is currently serving in Des Moines, Iowa, according to the press release.


Smith said while she was in training to become an officer she spent her summer assignment in Huntington, Indiana and had a “really awesome experience.”

“A few of them have already reached out to me and told me how excited they were that I would be close to them again and things like that,” Smith said. “So that was something that was comforting to know that people still remember me even though that was five years ago.”

Fewell said that Tuesday at 6 p.m. The Salvation Army would be having a volunteer appreciation dinner for some of its volunteers at the Salvation Army location. He said that they would be sharing some of the ways the organization helps the community and to bring awareness to it.

“People made me feel so welcome right away when I got here,” said Fewell, “and so I'm just thankful for this community, for their support and my hope is that they'll continue supporting us in the next phase of leadership.”